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The next time your coach asks you to work on a particular skill, and they tell you with a sense of urgency, or demand, give this a try.
Why do it:
Many times when swimmers are asked to do something well, they do their best to try a little harder, but do they really give EVERYTHING they can at that moment? This could be that little extra you need to get to the next level.
How to do it:
1) Make your game face and mean it. Gritting your teeth while NOT smiling typically sends a feeling of intensity that gets missed far too often in swim training. Really grit the teeth during your next push off and see if you become just a bit more focused.
2) Close your eyes and FEEL what's going on. Rather than looking around to see what everyone else is doing, get lost in the feeling of what you're body is doing, and where you're grabbing water... or creating resistance. A great place to practice this is during your next underwater dolphin kick.
How to do it really well (the fine points):
Don't treat it like a game, like a fun little task. Young swimmers will tend to giggle and feel silly because of peer pressure, or doing something that is out of the norm. Live like a big time athlete, and demand a bit more intensity out of yourself while practicing the intense parts of the sport.